Sustainable Facilities Management Plan (SFMP) Program

Sustainable Facilities Management Plan (SFMP) Program can efficiently and effectively assist building owners and facility managers in the commercial buildings sector with developing, planning, and implementing their own SFMP for existing buildings of all sizes and industries throughout California that enables them to cut energy costs, lower their carbon footprint, and become more sustainable.

Executive Summary

With energy reduction and environmental stewardship consuming the resources of FM and expanding their compliance requirements to meet California’s ambitious zero-net energy goals for all buildings by 2045, this IFMA chapter sustainability program focusing on energy reduction should be an essential component for every California chapter, as well as those nationwide, and throughout the world.

The intent of this program is to adapt new energy savings technology, ensure conservation, and improve best practices so they are consistent with zero-net energy usage goals for California’s building stock. Specifically, this program is broken down into four modules and can be adopted as a whole and/or separately to each chapter’s needs and objectives. The four modules are:

1 - Planning and Project Management for Energy Savings

2 - Energy Sustainability for Real Estate, Property Management & Space Occupancy

3 - FM Leadership & Innovation for Sustainable Energy Buildings

4 - The Future of Sustainable Energy & Buildings for the Next Decade

 

The tactical objectives and outcomes of this program are to empower and enable FM’s to develop their own Sustainable Energy Buildings Plan (SEBP) that optimizes energy storage systems (ESS) and efficient energy management in support of the primary purpose of the organization. From a strategic level, the program helps FM’s meet California’s zero-net-energy legislation and high-performance building goals and requirements listed below:

 

•            All new commercial construction will be ZNE by 2030

•            50% of commercial buildings will be retrofit to ZNE by 2030

•            50% of new major renovations of state buildings will be ZNE by 2025.

•            AB 32 – The  Global Warming Solutions Act

•            AB 758 – Comprehensive Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings Law

•            AB 802 – Mandatory Energy Benchmarking & Disclosure

•            SB 350 – Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act

•            AB 2514 – Energy Storage Systems

 

Once this sustainability program is completed and is acceptable, endorsed and approved by each chapter, they can make it available to their members, website, newsletters, training programs (with a possible Energy Sustainability Certification of Achievement), FM community, high schools and community colleges, and beyond as they see best. The possibilities and benefits for the FM community are endless.

 

With the adoption, implementation and expansion of this much needed and long overdue program, California’s IFMA chapters can lead the way in energy use reduction, zero net energy building compliance, and be the caretakers of the triple bottom that balances social, environmental, and financial factors. As an educational program it can enhance making FM a career choice, become a promotional tool for energy reduction, or perhaps be the spark of curiosity that turns an FM inquirer into an IFMA member.

 

An Introduction to Energy Cost Savings

Energy! It’s one of your major cost components. It’s a hot topic and will continue to be so. For most facilities and properties, the cost of energy is not going down—only up. It’s essential to reduce energy costs on your building(s) whether new or existing.

Energy management is an integral part of the day-to-day operations for facility managers and property owners. Rising energy costs and increasing interest in sustainability are driving the need to reduce energy consumption in buildings and develop strategies for better management.

How energy efficient is your property? How does a facility overall energy efficiency compare to a portfolio of buildings? Doing more with less! That’s an often-heard catchphrase for FM’s and CFO’s in managing costs. Energy waste can drain your budget and consume valuable resources.

This program is essential for facility and property managers along with their financial officers who are serious about reducing energy usage and the cost of it to their organization’s Triple Bottom Line.

The Status of Energy Usage and Compliance in California

In 2018, California established an ambitious goal of relying entirely on zero-emission energy sources for its electricity by the year 2045. At that time, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating the electricity target and also issued an executive order calling for statewide carbon neutrality — meaning California "removes as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits" — by the same year.

The zero net energy (ZNE) bill specifically requires that 50 percent of California's electricity to be powered by renewable resources by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030, while calling for a "bold path" toward 100 percent zero-carbon electricity by 2045.

The same year in 2018, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted regulations to implement California Assembly Bill 802 (AB 802) (codified at California Public Resource Code Section 25402.10), which requires owners of commercial and nonresidential building(s) 50,000 square feet or larger to submit energy data starting with the year 2017 to the CEC using the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager, subject to certain exceptions.

Going back to 2009, California implemented groundbreaking law, AB 758 - Comprehensive Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings Law that requires all existing buildings that fall significantly below Title 24 to improve their efficiency. This first-of-its-kind legislation has the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of energy and electricity that buildings consume and could be a model for the rest of the country.

And farther back, California’s first bold step in energy sustainability happened when it implemented Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), the California Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006, which became at the time the most significant climate legislation passed in the United States. It required California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020.

 

To summarize, a number of California agencies such as California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Energy Commission (CEC) have ambitious goals for the development of zero net energy buildings. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • All new commercial construction will be ZNE by 2030

  • 50% of commercial buildings will be retrofit to ZNE by 2030

  • 50% of new major renovations of state buildings will be ZNE by 2025.

  • AB 32 – The  Global Warming Solutions Act

  • AB 758 – Comprehensive Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings Law

  • AB 802 – Mandatory Energy Benchmarking & Disclosure

  • SB 350 – Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act

  • AB 2514 – Energy Storage Systems

 

How are today’s FM’s preparing for tomorrow’s ZNE goals and building compliances? Great questions and the answer in general are not enough or doing very little. That is a scenario that the 2020 Sustainability Program Focusing on Energy Use Reduction for the New Decade is intended to rectify.

The New Technologies for Sustainable Energy

The California Energy Commission estimates that 34% of the state’s retail electricity sales (pdf) in 2018 were provided by renewable energy sources eligible for its renewable portfolio standard (RPS), as shown in the below image. This definition notably excludes the state’s large hydroelectric plants.

The report notes that in 2018, solar represented the largest portion of renewable generation serving California’s electricity load, at almost 12% of all electricity. Broadly, in the past five years large-scale solar generation has increased nearly five-fold, while behind-the-meter solar resources increased approximately 310%. As well, the state expects it will soon achieve the goal of 1 million solar roofs, with an estimated 958,000 solar systems installed.

As distributed energy resources (DER) such as rooftop solar, battery storage, and EV systems become a necessity of our electrified lifestyles—the technology to optimize, aggregate, and control their energy time of use (TOU) at the user side or behind the meter (BTM) for synchronization with the power grid’s time of supply—is now more critical than ever.

From 2007 to 2017, utility-scale solar power generation in California grew from 557 GWh to 24,353 GWh, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This rapid increase has created a number of serious challenges for the state’s utilities, which rely largely on natural gas generation to supply the majority of power on the grid during peak usage.

 

Solar production increases in the late morning hours and peaks around noon before tailing off in the late afternoon and early evening. This reduces demand for natural gas during the midday hours, when utilities traditionally imposed higher, on-peak TOU rates. Then, as solar power generation diminishes in the late afternoon hours, utilities face a spike in demand for power from natural gas. This is known in the energy industry as the ‘Duck Curve.’

The demand for energy storage will increase to balance the higher proportion of variable, renewable generation in the electricity system. A smart energy savings system (SESS), with an efficient and effective energy storage system (ESS), paired with a variety of Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), will increasingly be chosen to manage this dynamic supply and demand mix that addresses the challenges of the Duck Curve. In response, California’s utilities have begun adjusting their TOU rate schedules to account for this energy anomaly.

In response, California’s utilities have begun adjusting their TOU rate schedules to account for the duck curve. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) shifted on-peak hours for its summer season to 4 pm-9 pm, from its previous schedule of 11 am-6 pm. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) implemented the same types of schedules for on-peak hours in 2017, 2018 and 2019 from 4:00 to 9:00 PM.

Starting a Sustainable Energy Buildings Plan (SEBP)

Many building and property managers today are being asked: “What are we doing in our buildings to be more sustainable?” A Sustainable Energy Buildings Plan (SEBP) optimizes Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and efficient energy management in support of the primary purpose of the organization. A SEBP has the potential to manage energy resources in a manner consistent with all that is green, zero-net-energy and high-performance.

Whether it’s determining your current status towards being more sustainable, or how you can save money in your building’s operations by being more energy efficient or taking you through a building rating system certification—the answers on how to effectively manage your facilities and properties using sustainable practices to are not always on hand and easily accessible—until now using this program.

A building can’t be green if it isn’t energy efficient. Why? The energy used by buildings is mostly generated by burning fossil fuels, which releases Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) that contribute to climate change. No building should define itself as “green” unless it consumes less energy and generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average.

Adopting and Implementing Your Chapter’s Sustainability Program

The challenge with successfully incorporating energy saving practices is often found within the organizational culture. Change is not easily accepted and "business as usual" seems to be the motto when new ideas or methods are introduced. However, in any organization, at any point in time, change is necessary and will more than likely require a gradual, result-driven integration.

 

With those challenges in mind, this program provides four (4) individual modules that can be accessible on each chapter’s website as a pdf file or a custom link. It will be up to each chapter as to how they want to present them and provide access to the individual modules and/or the complete sustainability program.

How each chapter wants to present the program is also up to them as well and they can promote it in a number of ways such as their website, newsletter, program presentations, facility tour of a SESS, a shared resource as benefit of membership, and more options.

The content like the free e-book ENERGY Cost Savings For Facilities, that the program is modeled from, should be free of charge and widely distributed as possible. If it is, we can thank ourselves for helping to make an energy sustainable future for all Californians to benefit from.

IFMA Sustainability Program Modules for California Chapters

The intent of this program to provide these four modules (as a whole and separately) to each chapter. From there each chapter can make them available to their members, website, newsletters, training programs (with a possible Energy Sustainability Certification of Achievement), FM community, high schools and community colleges, and beyond as they see best. The possibilities are endless.

 

1 - Planning and Project Management for Energy Savings

  • How the United States Uses Energy

  • What’s Your Energy Usage? Good? Bad? Or Ugly?

  • Energy Rates and Solar Policies Are in Flux

  • Smart Energy Saving System (SESS) Lowers Building Operation’s Energy Costs

  • Facility & Property Managers Can Significantly Reduce Their Energy Costs

  • Smart Energy Saving Systems (SESS) for Battery Storage Have Arrived!

              

2 - Energy Sustainability for Real Estate, Property Management & Space Occupancy

  • Conducting Energy Assessments

  • Energy Audits Using ASHRAE Levels 1, 2 & 3

  • Retrocommissioning & Recommissioning

  • Tailoring the Business Case to Your Organization’s Energy Saving Goals

  • Investment Analysis and Financing Options if Needed

 

3 - FM Leadership & Innovation for Sustainable Energy Buildings

  • What is a Sustainable Energy Buildings Plan (SEBP)

  • Starting a Sustainable Energy Buildings Plan (SEBP)

  • California’s Utilities Respond to the ‘Duck Curve’

  • The Impact of New TOU Rate Schedules on Solar PV and Energy Storage

              

4 - The Future of Sustainable Energy & Buildings for the Next Decade

  • Energy Storage Systems Will Drive FM Energy Sustainability

  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Growth Will Become an Energy Demand Issue

  • Solar PV Systems

  • Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Standards and Challenges

 

With the adoption, implementation and expansion of this much need and long overdue program, California’s IFMA chapters can lead the way in energy use reduction, zero net energy building compliance, and be the caretakers of the triple bottom that balances social, environmental, and financial factors. As an educational program it could enhance making FM a career choice, become a promotional tool for energy reduction, or perhaps be the spark of curiosity that turns an FM inquirer into an IFMA member.

 

IFMA California Chapter Acknowledgements

This program would not be possible without the support of IFMA’s 11 California chapters,  the Environmental Stewardship, Utilities & Sustainability (ESUS) Community, and the IFMA Global Foundation. Some great advice and inspirational ideas came from our IFMA community and sustainability leaders in order to develop this program and their inspirational messages are shared below.